While cultural excellence transcends national boundaries and Europe in general has, for centuries, provided a deep well of creativity the UK’s cultural influence remains a key advantage at both the elite and amateur level.
Britain’s heritage is renowned and accessible. The UK is 8th most visited tourist destination on earth with the 4th highest international tourist expenditure at $57.6bn in 2014. British Galleries and Museums and other National collections are amongst the deepest and most varied while the UK continues to host one of the riches veins of classical and contemporary theatre and music in the world.
In terms of music the UK is the world’s 4th largest music market by retail value. British music did not die with the Beatles or after the re-emergence with Britpop in the 1990’s. In 2014 a staggering 13.7% of all music consumed globally was made by British artists. Further the UK’s contribution to global music is increasing, not declining. In 2010 the share was 11.8%.
In 2014 six out of the top ten biggest album selling artists globally were British (One Direction, Ed Sheeran, Coldplay and Sam Smith plus two old favourites AC/DC (UK/Australian) and Pink Floyd. For a country with 1% of the world’s global population this is a staggering artistic contribution.
In terms of classical music the UK is also a leader with one of the world’s four ‘great’ opera houses, a number of the world’s top symphony orchestras and a vibrant number of contemporary composers including Maxwell Davies, Rutter and the late John Tavener.
A moment re-watching Danny Boyle’s own interpretation of some of Britain’s cultural threads, at the Opening Ceremony of the 2012 Olympics, gives the merest glimpse of Britain’s cultural contribution.
The EU has had no impact whatsoever on British, or, for that matter anyone else’s artistic creativity and our Brexit will not be a hindrance – but can inspire us to greater things.